Although non-essential retail stores will be re-opening on June 15th, malls will still remain closed with the exception of curbside pickup and certain stores with external entrances. Governor Murphy signed an executive order today (with the full details still to come), and laid out some of the highlights of rules about the reopening of other non-essential retail.
Stores attached to malls that have external entrances would be able to reopen with no access to the mall space. This means that larger stores like Macy’s, Old Navy and Nordstrom that have their own entrances are allowed to reopen, but other locations in the mall will have to remain closed or be limited to the curbside delivery set up. Murphy gave no date on when malls would be able to reopen.
For non-essential retailers that are opening, there are some restrictions in place. Stores must limit shoppers to 50 percent capacity. All customers and employees are required to wear face coverings. And stores must regularly sanitize areas used by employees.
“While it may seem odd for us to be wearing a face covering in our favorite local shop with a store owner who may be our neighbor and friend, we have to recognize that this virus remains among us,” Murphy said. “COVID-19 doesn’t care whether we’re in a supermarket or a book store. Social distancing must remain our routine.”
Additionally, stores are mandated to have special shopping hours for high-risk individuals and if possible, set up physical barriers between customers and cashiers.